resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
July, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 07
Healing Comes From Within
By Bruce Baltz
As massage therapists, our role is to initiate the natural healing process that lives within each one of us. But due to life's circumstances, our bodies are not always our best friends. We are trained at a very young age to hold in emotions and not express our feelings.As we get older most of us don't even recognize the turmoil that we have created inside our own bodies. As adults we have become quite proficient at masking our feelings to the point that it makes our day-to-day lives seem quite healthy; however, if we look at our lives a little closer we will find that a great deal of our imbalances is based on our reactions to fear. Most of us are taught that there will be consequences if we don't act a certain way or live up to certain expectations. So, as you can see, a pattern develops that does not necessarily work to our advantage.
First, we need to acknowledge that we are carrying emotional baggage that can be the root cause of many of our physical imbalances. We then have to look at the systems of the body and how they are affected unconsciously. Studies have shown that the autonomic nervous system holds the key to many of our physical discomforts and problems. Stress and fear are two of the most notable causes that directly correlate to the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, better known as dysautonomia.
The chain of communication starting with the hypothalamus communicates with the pituitary gland and then the adrenal gland. These three glands produce many of the hormones that we need to keep the body in balance. But stress and fear tend to overload our systems to the point of losing touch with our overall well-being.
The autonomic nervous system is broken into three parts: sympathetic (flight or fight), parasympathetic (rest and digest) and the enteric brain (digestive brain). Dr. Paul Canali of the Evolutionary Healing Center in South Florida has been a pioneer in the search for therapies that positively affect the autonomic nervous system. According to Dr. Canali, "The autonomic nervous system was always thought to be just that - automatic, motor-like, reflex-like, in neutral. It doesn't matter if a car suddenly cuts you off on the freeway or your boss tells you you're fired, your autonomic system reacts the same way. Muscles contract, blood pressure goes up, digestion stops, your heart races, these are but a few of the many reactions activated in the body's autonomic nervous system survival mode. The good news is that the autonomic nervous system also has a built-in healing network that can override years of painful stress and trauma.
"This part of the system allows for the deepest of human emotion, feeling of safety, love, and hope to be activated. These are what I call autonomic afferents, and they can receive information by specific sensory stimulation to free the nervous system that is stuck in a desperate survival mode. As much as 85 percent of modern disease may be due to the stress of being stuck in autonomic survival mode."
One of the most important steps in the healing process is to have our bodies recognize that there is a problem in the way our autonomic nervous system function. One of the ways to accomplish this is to bring attention to the system, which is already overloaded. Bringing awareness into different areas of our body can do this by touch.
The work can be done through contact to cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions of the spine and their surrounding tissues. Dr. Canali is the developer of the Enteric Brain Technique; he has also found that working with specific visceral stimulation with cognitive support will affect the enteric brain portion of the autonomic nervous system. The enteric brain is literally our second body brain. It controls and produces dozens of healing chemicals. Ninety-five percent of the body's serotonin, the anti-depression/ecstasy molecule is stored here.
According to Dr. Canali, "The enteric brain is the gateway to the parasympatic system's most influential nerve - the vagus nerve - which, when given the proper support, can send a powerful message to the brain; that is, to slow down, rest, digest and most importantly to heal."
Dr. Canali and I are experimenting with the use of temperature with both hot and cold stonework and a massage table that has a heated water bladder instead of a foam pad* to see what the effects may be on the autonomic nervous system. One of the things the autonomic nervous system controls is body temperature; vasoconstriction or vasodilatation of blood vessels does this. Interestingly, this same reaction is part of the fear or stress response. When the nervous system senses danger, it contracts the surface blood vessels and muscles, and shunts the blood to the deeper more powerful survival muscles. Unfortunately, we can become stuck in this contracted survival mode. The use of hot and cold therapy seems to be one of the ways to turn off this survival reflex. Dr. Canali and I believe in the healing powers of hydrotherapy and are very optimistic on the direct correlation temperature will have on the systems in the body.
Lets look at a common scenario: A client comes in with an acute injury and after a duration of time, it will become chronic. Depending on the response your client has, the treatment, and what the client is willing to do to help him/herself, this chronic stage could turn into adaptation. When we adapt to a condition, our body compensates for imbalances. At this time, we become our worst enemy. Our internal systems start to change; our physical function is affected, and pain is the most likely outcome.
One of the last phases of adaptation is disease, which often results in depression and frustration. It's much easier to work within this framework sooner rather than later. We as human beings have to take responsibility for our internal well-being and recognize our body's natural healing powers. We are looking to open the communications system that exists within us so that it will better serve us in order to maintain optimal health. Over-stimulation on almost every level means that our body no longer has that "rest to digest" stage. The stress from our everyday lives, (jobs, society, relationships) all contribute to this, overloading our systems, which cause imbalance and disease.
In order to be of greater benefit to our clients, our approach must be multidimensional. The physical bodywork is only one piece of the puzzle. When we look at the physical, there is also a nutritional component that needs to be addressed. Without the proper nutrients, our bodies will not be able to produce the essential chemical reactions that are necessary to maintain optimal function. Then there is the emotional/spiritual side. There are as many ways of tapping into this realm as our physical modalities for the body. It is imperative that whatever modality is utilized, the client must also resonate with it. Doctors and therapists must have the proper training and education to back up their protocol of treatments.
As massage therapists, we have the ability to initiate communication with the autonomic nervous system in profound ways. First, we must gain the trust of our clients on an emotional and physical level. Once this is done, our bodies will do the rest.
*The Mermaid table, produced by Golden Ratio.
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